Bulls drop series to 76ers; Pain will create change

Bulls drop series to 76ers; Pain will create change

The Chicago Bulls fell to the 76ers in a series where Frank Vogel would be trying to convince the media that they really won. They were missing their two best players for the majority of the games and can go into the off-season wondering what if. The series ended in a set up so comically bad that you can't but help to laugh at it. A sick, twisted, mournful laugh that is.

With the Bulls nursing a one point lead, seven seconds on the clock, both teams out of time outs, and C.J. Watson with the ball and a chance to dribble out at least three seconds before someone on Philly can track him down, he passes the ball to Omer Asik who's not even all that open under the basket.

Omer gets fouled, misses both free throws, the Bulls fail to get back in transition defense despite the fact they should know Philly has no timeouts in which to stop the clock and needs to sprint back to get a shot off. Iguodala waltzes to the rim, gets fouled and knocks down both free throws. The Bulls, having squandered all their timeouts earlier, can make no reasonable attempt to win the game with two seconds remaining.

Pain creates change

I can't imagine the hurt in the Bulls locker room after dropping this game. After the first two games of this series, the next four could have gone either way. Unfortunately for us, three went to Philly and one went to Chicago.

However, after John Lucas single handedly gacked up game three by dribbling out the whole clock for about 10 possessions in a row, we didn't see that the rest of the series. Pain created change. Whether the Bulls benefit from that because Lucas comes back is an off-season question, but they will benefit from two key things at the end of game six.

I have been screaming at Tom Thibodeau to keep a timeout in his back pocket for the end game scenario for the past two years. He burns through timeouts Vinny Del Negro style. The nice thing about a Thibodeau timeout is that it actually has a pretty good chance of calming the Bulls down and creating something positive whereas the Bulls always played worse out of the VDN timeout. That said, you need timeouts for the end game.

It's simply too important to not have one in your back pocket to stop the clock if you need to. You know, like when you're down by one point with 2.2 seconds on the clock, and a timeout gives you a chance to take a really good look at the basket and the lack of one means you lose?

We lost a whole playoff series because Tom Thibodeau wouldn't keep a timeout in his back pocket. If he doesn't reconsider that idea now, then it's never going to happen, but I think he has to look at this as a coach and think a change needs to happen.

Omer Asik shot six of 17 from the free throw line for the series. His two misses at the end of the game will be imprinted on his mind all summer long. Unlike many poor foul shooters, his form isn't inherently bad. He strikes me as a guy who should have little problem getting up to 65-70% if he puts in the work, and I can't imagine an end to the season that will inspire more work than this.

This team fought hard

There were gaffs at the end of several games, and the Bulls will walk away from this one thinking they blew it. You could say that's true. You could argue that the team choked. That they should have won. I'd argue that the team played its ass off without Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.

They never quit. When everyone doubted them, they kept coming. They kept fighting. They kept scrapping. I'm proud of their effort and still annoyed at the media at large that says the Bulls didn't put forth enough effort in games three and four. This team played hard every night. They didn't always execute and frequently tightened up, missing shots.

This team is what it is while key guys are missing

We can sit back and complain that Deng can't create his own shot as the number one option while being unable to dribble with his left hand due to a wrist injury. Deng's been in the league for eight years and couldn't create his shot with two wrists, so why would we expect him to do it with one? Deng's a guy who relies on the system to set himself up for shots while doing all the little things coaches love to impact the game in a positive way.

We can complain that C.J. Watson failed to step up and play like Derrick Rose against one of the league's best perimeter defenses. However, C.J. makes backup money to play back up minutes. At times he's given us much more, but he is who he is.

We can complain that Carlos Boozer completely melted away in meaningful minutes nearly ever game, but those who've followed Boozer's career already knew the score there. I described his stats as empty when we signed him and thought we overpaid him, but we had few alternatives which still seems true today. For those unconvinced of Boozer's overratedness when we signed him, they've likely already been convinced watching the past two seasons.

Taj and Omer really showed us something

It'd be easy to look at Omer's numbers and come away unimpressed with his performance throughout the playoffs. Especially when they end on him clanking two free throws to give away the game. However, Omer was absolutely dominant in this series defensively. The number of times slashers cut in the lane to find Omer there and simply had to pass the ball away was immense. Those are all mini-stops that don't get recorded in the stat sheet in any way, but make a huge impact on the game.

Taj Gibson looked like a complete shot blocking beast in this series. His energy and will was amazing. He played up to the moment constantly and looks more and more like a nice piece moving forward with this team. We can feel good about Taj going into the off-season.

Tough decisions coming

It'd be easy to check out on the Bulls this summer, and I suspect many of you will. However, the Bulls are faced with an interesting road this summer. They'll have to decide what they thought of their chances this year, decide if they're willing to pay the tax, decide if they want to reload, rebuild, or stay the same.

I'll have new content every week day, all summer long, up until the season tips off. The draft, free agency, trades, off-season workouts, I'll be bringing it. So stay tuned Bulls fans, training camp is right around the corner.

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    Thank you guys!! Thanks Doug for all the great articles

  • Ill be around Doug, I look forward to all of the trade, draft, mle, mmle, cap, luxury tax, amnesty, Jerry Rein$dorf, Derrick Rose etc. type blogs from you.

    I think we all wanted the Bulls to advance, but our goal was never squeak past the sixers out goal was a title. maybe we saved ourselves from more injuries by not advancing past game 6 on the 1st round. With our luck Jo would have torn an Achilles or something.

  • By the way, the chicagonow comment system sucks.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    It is almost as infuriating as NBA officiating and watching the Matapussy not try to play basketball.

  • Heartbreaking loss!! But it was "law of averages." Omer hits FTs earlier, so you knew he'd miss these. Omer dunks key basket with minute left, so you knew he wouldnt' be able to finish this one.

    CJ obviously thought he had Omer for a dunk, but even then he should have kept dribbling. That was the error that cost us the game, not the lack of TO. Even if Thibs had that TO, with 2 seconds left and no clutch scorer, we had little chance of winning there. As the PG, you CANNOT make that error. He knew the deal.

    But like you say, Doug, CJ is a backup. And he played like one. Sometimes, worse. Same deal with JLIII. No way both should be on the team next year.

    It's time to start Taj! He probably dominates Boozer in practice every time. If he can work on his 12 to 15 foot jumper, he will be a beast. Boozer should be relegated to a Bob McAdoo kind of role. Points off the bench. Next to the dominant and long Asik, his lapses on D may be even better atoned for than by Noah.

    The jury is out on Rip. He hit some key shots last night, but also had some luck. He's just too fragile, though. And hasn't proved to be the creator we had hoped. And because DRose is fragile, can't have a SG that is as well! Are we stuck with him?

    Noah became a complete stud down the stretch. And he plays well in big games. Hopefully he comes into next season in top condition, which he didn't this year. Deng played as well as you can expect considering that injury. Let's hope his Olympic team gets beaten right away so he can take care of that wrist!

    Korver got exposed for the 2nd playoffs in a row. He was terrible in this series. Develop at least one dribble move, dude! Without Rose creating space, he's useless out there (though he magically improved on D this year). Still, I'd much rather see the combo of Brewer (who can be dominant on D) and Butler (who has that rare combo of being able to shoot and defend :) more often.

  • I was third row right in front of Omer (literally at the free throw line) when he missed both free throws. Why oh why did C.J. make that pass. At any other point in the game that would have been the right call.

    I couldn't believe Thibodeau called his last timeout with about 40 seconds left either. Deng did make a very nice cut to the rim for an easy layup at least.

    That was my first time seeing the Bulls so closely. Omer is legitimately 7'. Rip is as skinny as was expected. Boozer was as lousy as expected. I was shocked that I didn't hear his loud mouth hardly at all. Was this is a case of him actually being quiet or just because he was riding the bench nearly the entire second half?

    Doug, I can't believe you didn't mention Omer's 20' bailout make at the very beginning of the game. That was hilarious. The Philly crowd had no idea what happened (I didn't either, haha). Speaking of that crowd: EVERYONE, except the one rational fan sitting next to me, thought that the Sixers had been screwed by the referees the entire series. I was about to explode.

    Oh well, at least this game wasn't as hard on the eyes as game five.

    And I doubt Philly would do it, but I would offer Omer & Boozer for Brand. I'd imagine that would work salary wise and then Chicago wouldn't lose Omer for nothing. It would give Chicago salary flexilibity sooner while adding a quality defensive PF who can shoot the mid range shot as effectively as Boozer. If that was rejected, I'd try to trade this years 1st & Boozer for Stoudemire if NY would do it (doubtful). If Boozer only made half of what he makes his play would be acceptable, or even applauded. The guy had to know that Chicago was going to roast him if he didn't improve considerably.

  • From the perspective of someone who is not a Bulls fan, I’ll give you an outsider’s view: I believe Taj Gibson and Omer Asik are players the Bulls must lock up for the foreseeable future. If the Bulls were to lose that depth of size, they would lose an important advantage and become just another team. Brewer and Watson are highly expendable and can be replaced by the right minimum salaried players. In today’s NBA, having good shooting is a necessity, not a luxury. Thus, if the Bulls can sign a Steve Novak for $3M or $4M, Kyle Korver’s $5M salary becomes expendable. Doug’s right about Carlos Boozer. His statistics are respectable (closeout game in Philly not withstanding) but are very hallow. He’s simply not a winning player, and his contract is as much an albatross to the Bulls as Stoudemire’s is to the Knicks. In today’s salary cap driven NBA, it’s all about value. Not only do the player’s on-court skills have to mesh, but you also have to have these players at the right prices.

  • In reply to RichG:

    Boozers stats are the high fructose corn syrup of the NBA, worthless empty calories.

  • In reply to RichG:

    No to Novak, he completely lacks the foot speed to come off screens like Korver does so he gets shut down hard by good defenses, look at how few shots he was even able to take against the Heat.

    Hopefully the Bulls can land someone like John Jenkins in the draft, then hope he and Butler can replace Korver and Brewer.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Jenkins seems like a really good fit for Chicago, but we'll see what happens. Lots of guys who are shooters in college are horrible in the NBA and never adjust.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yeah I agree, he might stink. But there's a bunch of guys who will be there at the late first round who can shoot the ball, so it's pretty obvious the Bulls will go for someone on 1/5 the salary and hope it works out.

  • Well, that sucked.

    Moving on to next year, here's my armchair GM plan, all assuming that there is no way to move Boozer:

    1) If and only if Houston is willing to straight dump Kevin Martin's salary, I'd give them some package of our non-guaranteed for him. I wouldn't give up any assets other than draft picks, though. Then, I'd try to sign one of Nash/Miller/Billups/Kidd/Felton with whatever exception we could throw together and add a veteran minimum swingman to replace Kronnie Brorver.

    2) If Houston isn't willing to dump Martin's salary, I'd go after the best scorer I could get with the MLE (Jason Terry? Ray Allen?) and sign *gulp* Kirk Hinrich.

    For me, this series has made Taj and Omer just about untouchable unless they're part of a package for Dwight Howard. The team is built around DRose and Jo, but I would include them with Deng as part of the "core."

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Yeah a core that can't beat an 8 seed. D Rose is untouchable everyone is fair game for the right offer. Deng an Noah included 17 and 7 and 11 and 10 are not irreplaceable. You only keep guys that ARE special or guys that could develop into it the rest should be on the block for a star.

  • slept on this for a night, woke up.... still sucks... a total shit season.

  • Perfect picture Doug, nothing else needs to be said.

    Hawes with both hands around Asik's neck, how is/was that not a flagrant foul. Hawes never made any attempt to play the ball he tackled Asik by the shoulders neck and head.

    Then at the other end, Asik gets called for a phantom foul on Iggy, when in all likelihood he didn't even touch him.

    The last 7 seconds were a microcosm of the enitre series which despite all the Bulls gaffes was still determined by horseshit officiating.

    If I were a bulls player, I would have orchestrated a protest, whereby, in order to make a statement, every bulls player should have refused to speak to the media, except to say here is my $25,000, NBA officiating sucks, fuck you David Stern.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Asik hacked Iguodala's off arm. It was clearly a foul.

  • In reply to jt563905:

    You are the only person on earth that thinks that, nearly everybody has quietly questioned the call, and I have watched the replays as much as the technology available allows me to and have yet to definitively see any physical contact between Asik and Iggy.

    If you call that "hacking his arm off" What do you call what Hawes did to Asik. If you make the call on Asik v Iggy then you have to call the flagrant on Hawes v Asik. and if you don't call the flagrant on one end then you don't call the foul at the other.

    You simply cannot have it both ways, unless of course you are an NBA official.

    You can't ask the officials to be perfect, but you can ask them to be impartial and consistent.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Yes the refs were awful in this series but on the play the sixers tipped the ball in after the miss anyway, becomes an irrelevant foul if you ask me.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I said that Asik hacked his off arm, the arm that did not have the ball. I was very near the play and it appeared to be a foul in real time and on the overhead screen immediately following. I did not see the replay on a TV.

    I agree that Hawes' fould on Asik appeared to be flagrant. Had it been called flagrant, Asik would've never fould Iguodala and we'd be preparing for game 7 tomorrow.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Refs dont call flagrants at the end of games, remember when Rondo smacked Miller in the mouth?

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Yeah, but that doesn't make it right. That was ridiculous, and it was even more ridiculous that the NBA didn't upgrade that foul after the game [though they likely didn't because it would have caused a huge outcry because the game was altered].

    You could say much the same for this one, it probably should have been a flagrant, but you don't expect to get that call, and the bulls just screwed up. Oh well.

  • This team has a season regular roster, a lot of player who never shows up when it matters. it lacks of a killer instinct besides Rose. Bulls will never win a championship with that team even with Rose healthy.
    In my opinion, Bulls management should clean up the roster around Rose. change everything, most of all boozer. we can't keep going with that looser.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    We could use a thug or two. It seems like all our damn players are the ones lying on the floor in agony writhing in pain.If we're gonna be deficient in talent, intimidation can go a long way.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    The Bulls team is built on defense and rebounding, two traits which are most tightly correlated to playoff success.

    I think it's hard to take anything from the playoffs when the Bulls were missing their two best players for three of the four losses.

  • The future cost of Carlos Boozer.

    Assumes the rest of the Bulls roster costs exactly $70,000,000. Which is about the minimum that the Bulls will have to spend with the Rose, Deng, Noah trio earning over $40 million in 12-13 and over $42 million in 13-14.

    Salary Luxury Tax Total
    2012-13 15,000,000 15,000,000 30,000,000
    2013-14 15,300,000 29,500,000 44,800,000
    2014-15 16,800,000 34,600,000 51,400,000
    Totals 47,100,000 79,000,000 126,200,000

    Basically, by amnestitizing boozer this summer, the Bulls can retain everybody(or strategically replace Brewer, Korver and/or Watson) and still remain under the luxury tax threshold for the upcoming season, while saving Reiny $15 million.

    Given the inevitability of amnesty before the 2013-14 season, why bother putting up with him and spending $30 million on him for 2012-13, there seems to be zero logic in doing so.

    Does anyone besides SSS(senile sam smith) still think that Reiny will not amnestitize boozer, I would not be surprised if both Paxson and Forman lose their jobs over this one. Reiny may be loyal, but like most people of his ilk, he is most loyal to his money.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    To further piss you off , I dont think theyll be doing anything with Boozer given that He will be receiving free money for the duration of this contract( 3 More Years!!).

    ??!!

    Got Duct tape??

  • In reply to mummuhwalde:

    "Given the inevitability of amnesty before the 2013-14 season, why bother putting up with him and spending $30 million on him for 2012-13, there seems to be zero logic in doing so."

    Except you still have to pay him 30 mil if you amnesty him ...

    Easy to play with someone else's money but there about a .000001% chance Reinsdorf pays someone that much money to not play.

  • In reply to eric:

    No, you don't pay the tax money if you use amnesty that is the whole point of amnesty.

    Since you didn't get the chart(which losses format when posted) Here is a summary.

    you pay him $15 million and you save $15 million in year one,

    you pay him $15.3 million and save 29.5 million in year 2, progressive(Obama) luxury tax kicks in

    you pay him $16.8 million and save 34.5 million in year 3.

    His salary is a sunk cost no matter what you do, amnesty saves you as much as $79 million in additional spending.

    No matter who's checkbook it is, writing a check for "only" $47 million is a lot better than writing one(or 2, or 6) for $126 million.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    KC Johnson already reported there is 0% chance the Bulls amnesty Boozer this off season. It is not going to happen.

    Another thing that is not going to happen is the Bulls having a 70 million payroll before counting Boozer. They'll have a 55 million payroll before Boozer and save themselves from paying the tax. If that means letting guys go and replacing them with min salary then you can bet that is what will happen.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    The only player that will kind of suck losing will be Kyle Korver. One thing this Bulls team did was have pretty good 3 point shooters. Don't mind losing Brewer because this will allow Butler to develop and I think he can be a better two way player eventually. We already seen he can get to the line which I like alot. His jumpshot needs work but he's a hard worker so he should improve. CJ Watson? the Bulls might be stuck with him since I'm not sure Billups will want to come here and that Hinrich will take a massive paycut, I'm sure he wants the full 4 year MLE.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Looking at the draft there's a bunch of players who can shoot the three who will be available with the #29 pick. I think the Bulls will look to that pick for Korver's replacement. Whether that guy can come in and adjust to NBA distance as a rookie will be the question, but if you can replace Korver & Brewer's 5 million with the 1 million being paid to Butler & #29 then that helps salary flexibility a lot.

    As far as Hinrich goes, hell no to the MLE. That would be a terrible deal. I'd struggle to justify paying him much more than the vet minimum, he's really declined a lot

  • In reply to BigWay:

    If you think the Bulls are going to have an 85 million dollar salary cap you're dreaming.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the Bulls look to stay under the tax threshold again this year to avoid the repeat offender tax. Particularly with Rose likely out half the year or more and unlikely to really be back this season causing it to become somewhat of a dead year.

    I would not be surprised if the Bulls find a way to skate under the tax this year, and then amnesty boozer next year to stay under it again.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    "Reiny may be loyal, but like most people of his ilk, he is most loyal to his money.
    Anti-semitic much?

  • As usual, Doug and the regular Bulls crowd on this blog have not asked the big question today. "Where was Joakim Noah?"
    Unless it is proved that Thibs tried to get him in the game in those dying minutes when the game and season were on the line, and failed, there is no way he should be back as coach of this team.
    You're talking about a proven "BIG GAME" player who, from all I can gather, was there willing and ready to at least make his presence felt when the game and season were on the line.

    Doug, I know you are a big fan of Thibs but it's time for a thorough examination of this man.
    Whenever he feels like, he benches players and when asked he gives a generic comment like "he wasn't bringing it (energy)" when he was in there. He has used that stupid remark in the case of Noah when he pulls him out of games for his favorite Omar Asik. Well last night we saw how dangerous that habit can be. Last night we saw the danger of having a 45% free throw shooter in a game where the season on the line. For all the positive things Asik did, all were erased at the free throw line.
    Thibs will better value that BIG MAN that he has who shoots over 70% from the line. He speaks in generalities whenever he's asked about Noah's game, but showers praise on Asik whenever he's asked to comment on his performance. This season and last season he had the habit of pulling Noah and putting Asik in, and leaving Asik in as Noah warmed the bench in frustration. Fools on this blog would always give Thibs a pass by saying he was playing the hot hand.
    Fittingly, last night Thibs' luck ran out.

    Another pet of Thibs is the backup point guard C.J. Watson. He (C.J.) in recent times was famous for sending a game over Miami in overtime with a fluke shot while about to fall out of bounds. Bulls won the game and C.J. was hailed as a hero.
    This guy was not and will never be a point guard. In a nutshell, HE DOES HIS OWN THING but many here so love him that he's always given a pass. Last night he DELIVERED for them, C.J. style!
    I've listened to a lost of postmortem on last night's game, but none of them brought up the Noah factor. This morning I heard Jalen Rose and Stacey king and neither of them broached the issue.
    I'm sure Thibs and his apologists will be quick to say Noah wasn't considered because the team on the floor was handling the situation well.
    For those apologists I would say to them...TELL ME WHAT ASIK ACCOMPLISHED ON THE FLOOR THAT COULDN'T BE HAD FROM NOAH?
    And had Thibs put Noah on the floor for those closing seconds of the game, Asik would have spared the ignominy of those final seconds.

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Unfortunately we are married to TT and who would come in and do and do better? Someone needs to get Tibs laid and release pressure before competition so he wont make his misery everyone elses company. Hang out with Jo! get Boozer to loan him some hairspray,ANYTHING!! But hes got to do something differently since sitting in an office studying film incessantly is leading to him getting outcoached in the playoffs.

  • In reply to mummuhwalde:

    Thanks for the laugh. It's the heartiest I've had in a while!

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    They showed Noah warming up before the game. He was INJURED. The guy could barely jump and when he did he started hopping around in pain just like in Game 3. That's why he wasn't out there. Nothing to do with your manufactured theory of Thibs having a vendetta against Noah, which has no basis in reality.

  • In reply to Sid23:

    You Sid23 are a liar!

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    What possible interest would he have in lying to you? Noah rolled his ankle 90 degrees. That takes weeks to recover from usually. Plus up until Watson's stupid decision the Bulls were doing ok and Asik was playing well.
    Agree with you on Watson.
    "Whenever he feels like it he benches players" comment about TT? Pretty much sounds like part of the job description for head coach, yes?

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Seriously? This is Thibs we are talking about if Noah was any where close to being able to play he would have. Plus the whole Noah is a "Proven Big Game" player is highly questionable considering last year he was almost never playing in the fourth quarter during their playoff run. If he is so clutch why didn't they play him in the fourth?

  • In reply to SlamDunk:

    Noah likely has a grade 2 ankle sprain and probably shouldn't even be walking outside of a boot.

    I don't know how anyone who watched him warm up earlier would suggest he should have been playing or think he would have been able to be effective if he was.

  • Sad way to end the season. Back to 6 months of trade rumors and speculations!

    I doubt Boozer will be amnestied this summer, mgmt is too conservative. Plus with Rose out for most of next year, it's difficult to get rid of him.

    I agree with Doug, Taj and Omer looked great this series and think we should try and keep both of them. Let Korver, Brewer, etc go and draft a PG/SG. I think Butler can step in well next year. Then after next season, amnesty Boozer and go from there.

    Is there any possibility that the Bulls do a mini-tanking next year? I know it's probably slim with Thibs but will mgmt dump enough of the expirings so the Bulls might not make the playoffs and get into the lottery? Is it even worth it?

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    2014 lottery pick = another Chicago kid from Simeon High School Jabari Parker !!!!

  • Only thing that will make this season worse is if the Bobcats get the #1 pick, get Davis, and start the road to respectability.

    I almost think that the Bulls would have been better off without a season this year.

  • Im mortified to acknowledge that our Bulls have regressed following last season with this one, even more questions than last year. We were one SG away, it was supposed to be that simple. Now , the jury is still out on Rip, Rose and Deng out for some time. The salary cap working against us, and WHO would like to come and play here that has star power?
    We might have to DEVELOP the talent we already have because shit looks so lean in short term. Reinsdorf isnt amnestying anyone who has that much left on a contract - book that. Boozer will be here.. at least another year( I just threw up excuse me),I just pray as an expensive back-up. Some lower level contracts might move ie Korver,Brewer, Watson, but all that is window dressing till the primary people come back.
    Hopefully ,they press for Mirotic, get bold and move up in the draft, or find a GM daffy enough to take Boozer off our hands. In all likelyhood we are waiting for 2013-14, when Rose recovers physically and psycologically from this whole season, the Bobcats pick is ours free and clear ,and hopefully not that long but Booz becomes an expiring situation.
    I pray Im just pessimistic but, money makes folks act funny.

  • You learned who has the heart of a champion, Taj, Omer, Noah and Deng(yes even though he will never set the world on fire offensively) are winners. I hope the Bulls can keep both of Omer and Taj, its what's gives them that big man advantage most times

    We pretty much all know JR will not pay the tax for a roseless team this year(he has the perfect excuse now). So they will gut out alot of the bench players. My greatest fear is they try to replace those cut players with a Jannero Pargo or some other washed up characters. And we all know the Bulls usually strike out against quality veterans like a Billups.....which doesnt bode well for us. I hope the rook they bring in will be developed by that stubborn Thibodeau instead of his lovefest for former players. Who knows, maybe they can get a minimum veteran contract like Michael Redd or Vince Carter to replace some of the depth we lose.

  • I will preface this by saying I am not a Joe Johnson fan. But imagine if everyone had more confidence in Taj before the signing of Boozer. We could have used Boozer's money to give to Joe Johnson. While he is not the greatest player he is still a top 3 2 in the league and would be a great fit next to Rose.

  • In reply to do53:

    I think rumors were that Johnson was going to come to Chicago. I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that even he thought it, but then ATL gave him that huge contract. Even if we didn't spend the money on Boozer, no way we could have matched that contract.

  • In reply to bpmueller:

    Joe Johnson comes off to me as a player without guts. He doesn't like the limelight and pressure to perform and that's why he stayed in boring Atlanta.
    Chicago can do without that timid, colorless blank slate.

  • In reply to do53:

    I will suffix what you said by saying " and Joe Johnson will TAKE that money too." I thought Wade,Kobe,Ginobilli were the top 3 at that position with him falling along the lines of Kelvin Martin,Monta Ellis,and James Harden (all of whom are more productive). He also had plenty of opportunity this year and like Boozer he was all potential.

  • In reply to mummuhwalde:

    Perhaps overstating it saying he is a top 3 2. Your list is much better but he is top 10 no doubt. I do think that he is WAY overpaid but I would rather him be the Bulls starting 2 as opposed to Rip. I think people focus on the numbers that Boozer puts up and do not take a look at the game. I can say that I saw every Bulls game this year and like Doug said his stats are empty. I don't think you can say the same for Johnson. Typically he has to have a good game to win (especially if Josh Smith is playing like an idiot) this is not the case with Boozer. Boozer does not make an impact on the game. I would say that half of his rebounds are "stolen" from someone else and not contested. Just because he puts up 10 boards a game does not mean he is a good rebounder.

  • In reply to do53:

    Joe Johnson got paid more by staying in Atlanta. There was no way for the Bulls to get him.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Yes, he did get more. But would he have taken a little less to play in Chicago? All indications at the time was that Chicago was his first choice, we obviously had no interest in him and thought that we needed a PF that could score. I think that if we made Johnson our first priority he would have been a Bull. Granted there is no way to know this and it doesn't matter now. I guess we should just be looking to people that could actually be on this roster next year.

  • In reply to do53:

    It's not just a little less, he got the extra year in Atlanta, when he'll be 34 and earning nearly 25 million. If he signed elsewhere and had to negotiate a contract at the end of this one for 2015/16 he maybe can get the MLE, so that's 20 million bucks he wouldn't be earning that year.

    No way was Joe Johnson turning that kind of money down.

  • In reply to do53:

    Joe Johnson got 120 million from Atlanta. We paid Boozer 75 million.

    Besides the fact that Joe Johnson's probably the worst contract in the NBA right now, it's also unreasonable to expect we could have had Johnson with Boozer money.

  • (people)Fans, they're the worst(Seinfeld rip off). And I include msyelf of course. Sorry, it was the character and likability of the players that got me.

    Segueway to throwing remotes at the tv and wives saying, come on, it's not that bad. "Yes, yes it is. Omer shouldn't even have been in the Game! Aw, what the hell was Watson thinking passing to Asik?" Point of order: Bulls with Rose as a legit contender?Really?

    When your star player goes from shooting 49 and 45% in the playoffs to .391 once your team is seen as an actual threat, what does that tell you? Derrick Rose needs some help! Or we have no chance.

    Said Help: Coaching - Thibs orchestrates every single offensive play sans babysitter, but then leaves no timeouts for thee one time you do need specific instructions as in the end of a life or death playoff game? No one wanted this guy or saw him as a head coaching material for 30 YEARS in the NBA. Thirty f-ing years guys. He's a defensive assistant, "Do your job."

    Help II: offensive scorers trending towards stars. Answer - supplied with a guy every single Utah fan and media person denigrated roundly in Carlos Boozer. Did not the guy who runs this very blog site one D.T. warn strongly if not vociferously against bringing in the Booz Cruise? Did not Gar/Pax look revolted post Bron/Wade dupefest at the media intro of one Boozie Booz sponsored by Lowered Expectations?

    Help II: OK this year, the second star aka scorer 34 year old Rip(Rest In Piece) Hamilton. Oft injured with plumetting numbers the last two seasons. "Well, (Boozer, Hamilton,.. Wallace) was all that was available? Really? Never had opportunity to trade Deng, Jo, Omer, or Taj when their value or need by other franchises was high? Because that's how successful deals are made.

    Chicago sports fans aka victims for the most, part Bulls included, reminds me of some schlub who settles for a second rate girlfriend/wife, job etc., and then deludes themselves that things will magically get better. In the meanwhile nothing changes, and the bitching and moaning wasted breath chortles to eternity.

    Boozer sucks ass crack as advertised, Watson was had for a second round pick. Ronnie Brewer was Utah's leavings part II, and Kyle Korver part III.

    How in thee fu_ck did anybody, including myself, in their right mind think this was a team that could excell in the playoffs? Derrick Rose can say, "mom, we're rich." And then shorly thereafter stuck with inept and disingenuous execs in Gar/Pax with a meddling bullying cheap ass owner, "mom, we're f-cked."

    Savvy G.M.s stockpile talent, and package it when the time is right. They don't wait around for F.A.'s to "pick me!" Deng's salary was a reach. When he wouldn't settle on a fair contract that was offered, the Bulls should have looked for a beneficial trade of young talent picks etc. OR, let him walk. This whole theory of "losing something for nothing(in return)" is thee stupidist, misguided illogical assumption I've ever heard. Freed up salary and cap space as opposed to forced marriage to a mirage workman like SF who shows his true mediocrity amongst amped up D and elite athletes for guaranteed failure. Yeah, makes a lot of sense.

    Derrick Rose has some solid bigs in Joakim, Asik, and Taj, but NONE of these guys are offensively talented particularly Omer and Jo. if this were a winning franchise they would write the coming year off. See if Jimmy Butler is a viable NBA player in Deng's absence. Lose enough games to get a low lottery pick. Pay Boozer one more year as window dressing scorer for the fans, and then amnesty his ass next summer for a $32 Million pill that becomes chewable and swallowed. Jettison Brewer, Korver, and Watson as expirings in part of a package for a legit offensive player or mid to lower teens lottery pick, or they just expire next summer.

    Who is available next summer? A huge crop of free agent talent. Paul, Martin, Millsap etc, etc. They want a sign and trade for more years and money ala Wade and BronBron. So you actually trade some assetts(Noah, Deng, Taj, or Omer or a combination thereof) along with Charlotte or Mirotic, and get yourselves an offensive proven force. Only you actually have to know what you're doing, and not buy an expiring lemon ala Boozer. And, sadly due to the bulls cheap ass and bungling rep plus Derrick's "outsider" status the top guys probably won't want to come.

    Of course the Bulls will not part with Jo, Deng, or probably Omer. Instead it will be the one guy who at least has some offensive skills in Taj. Packaged with expirings and Charlotte or Mirotic.They will bring in the wrong guy. And they won't amnesty Boozer even next summer so the payroll wil be paralyzed as far as any dynamic player moevement goes, and a dire need of restructuring. The Bulls as presently constituted aside from Rose are an offensive abomination.

    I feel sorry for Bulls fans and Derrick. This franchise other then drafting character and sometimes having their heart in the right place, sucks when it comes to being an elite enterprise that brings in valuable offensive talent which is what it takes to win championships. The only way the Bulls likely win is if they are lucky enough to draft the next Jordan, Pippen, Grant or Duncan, Parker, Ginobli. Good luck with that.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Why did you have to make SO MUCH SENSE!! I can kill myself now,RW....

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Yep I couldn't agree more RW, you just put it in a nice way cause o have been saying your exact thought for the past couple years. Good to see you're one of a few to see that this team is screwed until theyget the right players to surround Rose.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    You nailed it Gar/Pax are going to continue to screw us long time. They fall in love with decent players and pay them like superstars.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    RW, if some people are right, they might have drated the next Dirk. (I do not know if he is or not, some people have said he is Dirk like) If Mirotic is a good as some think he can be, he and Omer could be the best front court in the league.

    I am not saying that he is the savior, just that they might have the answer sitting in Europe now looking for Levi jeans or whatever the hell they do over there.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    ROFL

    Step back off the ledge dude. This is the kind of rant that makes no sense whatsoever when you objectively compare it to what basically any team in the NBA has done outside of perhaps Miami and Oklahoma City.

    Thibodeau sucks as a head coach? He won coach of the year last year and had a season worthy of it this year as well. I would suspect around the NBA he's already viewed as a top 5 coach in the league.

    Just more of the same from people who don't want to look at reasonable alternatives, a bunch of statements about how the Bulls should have done better without any thoughts as to how they could have done better.

    Who are the long list of players the Bulls could have signed instead of Brewer/Korver/Watson who were coming for 4.7/5/3 million? Oh wait there were none. You want GMs to stock pile talent, how do you think they stole Asik in the second round? Drafted Gibson in the late first? Found a keeper in Butler in the late first? Got a lotto talent in Mirotic for a 2nd rounder and a late 1st. Acquired the Charlotte pick? The Bulls have found ways to gather tons of talent without much in the way of assets.

    If it isn't good enough for you, again, I suggest you go look at what most teams in the NBA are doing to create a baseline and then think about how completely absurd those statements are.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    So, the reality is that Bulls FO (Front office!) has made some good calls in the draft. And if not for the injuries to Deng and Rose, the Rip signing might have been haled as wise.

    But go back a bit. First, the FO got hustled by Wade, which led to giving up Hinrich and a pick for nothing. Second, they should not have signed Boozer to such a big contract. That lacked foresight, period! They should have been more patient. A bad contract can mess up strategy with players for many years. It happened with both Wallace and now Boozer.

    And the FO should not have overvalued Noah. If no Boozer, the Bulls could have afforded to trade for Carmelo Anthony -- Noah was the piece Denver wanted. A second superstar is huge -- look at the Clippers. Many said they gave up way too much to get Paul, but it sure doesn't look that way now!

    What now? Be patient, don't be stupid again! Keep Mirotic for sure -- unless maybe, notice maybe, they could get Deron Williams with him. And draft smart.

    Also, Thibs is good, but Gar/Pax need to counsel him about player development and overplaying Deng and Rose. If he doesn't listen, he should be replaced. If Thibs keeps doing the same stuff, he will keep getting the same results. (Compare Lovie of the Bears -- good, but not great, lousy in-game adjustments.)

  • I think Reinsdorf forgot his check to the fucking referees ball the last 2 years cause officiating has laid eggs around here . They say its supposed to even out in regards to the calls, but if those calls suck at the end of quarters (when time is most precious), are these mofos related to Tim Donaghy or what? WHAT??!!

  • This was so painful to watch!!! CJ should know better and try to dribble out the clock and take responsibility and keep the ball and get fouled and at least make 1 of the free throws! Passing to stone hands Asik and having a 99.9% chance that he gets fouled hard and misses both free throws is crazy stupid!!!! Then not getting back on D and not having a timeout to burn to setup for D is very bad!
    The 76ers tried their hardest to give the Bulls the game and the Bulls didn't take it! This was a miserable series to watch!

    I absolutely loved watching Taj and Asik played good D as well!

    We have some tough decisions to make and not alot of room to do anything to improve unless we shed contracts like Boozer or trade him for expirings and some scubs with size like Kwame Brown even or Dampier some mean MOFO big guys to enforce the paint and make it clear that the other team can't take cheap shots at our star players like Rose and Deng without feeling their wrath (NHL enforcer types)! ;-) I sure miss Kurt Thomas this year! He gave us so much last year even now being the oldest player in the NBA...when he fouled a player he wrapped him up so very little "and 1s" against him!

    We live and die with Rose and are very much a season champ, not built currently for the title and going deep in the playoffs!

    The core of the Bulls is Rose, Deng, Noah, Gibson....maybe Asik...maybe Butler...maybe Brewer...the rest are very expendable!

    Thibs scares the crap out of not only the Bulls roster and his asst coaches but the rest of the league from wanting to play on the Bulls!
    While Miami, LAL, LAC, Dallas, Boston, NYK can get veteran scrubs playing for the mimimum with a chance to win a title or at least be in a major market...the Chicago Bulls being the 3rd largest city in the US can't get that!!!! We don't have good quality backup PGs like Bibby, or Billups, a Jason Terry off the bench etc! We have CJ Watson and JL3!!!! WTF!!! :-(

  • The Bulls messed up by not going aggresively after either Young (Sam and Nick), or OJ Mayo, or even JR Smith. Guys like that who can at least come off the bench and put up points while being a bit of a character risk (OJ & JR). Guys like Jamal Crawford, even Ben Gordon who made the mistake of taking more $ to sign with Detroit and is dying there! Why does Reinsdorf not see how lucky he was to get local kid Derrick Rose and not squander those years with the Bulls being so close to winning it all even with Miami's Heatles! Rose's best years might be behind us now post ACL! I hope we can have more years of a dynamic Rose and the Bulls retooling and getting those vet scrubs...who seem to stay away from Chicago as much as a bottom dweller small market team like the Kings or Bobcats!

  • In reply to smiley:

    What players that can score? Gar/Pax don't sign those types. They only want guys who can defend. The goal is to win by high school scores(60-55).

  • In reply to smiley:

    Let's be fair here, those guys the Bulls should have gone after who can score have all sucked balls in the playoffs for their respective teams so why would you think they'd be the answer for Chicago?

  • Hey, Bulls fan. Frank Vogel of Indy just say something that makes me respect him. Finally someone has the guts to say the TRUTH. http://m.espn.go.com/nba/story?storyId=7918758

  • In reply to CoolWind:

    Finally someone with balls comes out. Very Phil Jacksonish. Anyways probably won't do a damn thing. The NBA refs are the worst in all sports except for Boxing maybe. They are all company men hedging for the league office darlings. But whatever it's entertainment right?

    As far as the Bulls If they don't amnesty Boozer then put his ass on the damn bench and start Taj like I've been saying for fucking two years now. Jesus Christ do I always have to be so ahead of all you geek ass bloggers? I tired of this people that are so fucking dumb and defend Carlos Boozer who's a fucking weight hanging around the Bulls ankle dragging along acting like he gives a fuck. He's such a damn phony bitch.

    WHATS THE FUCKING POINT? AMNESTY HIS ASS AND FUCKING ADMIT YOU FUCKED UP AGAIN ON A BIG FREE AGENT LIKE BEN WALLCE. PAY THE FUCKING MONEY AND START TAJ AND PLAY NOAH AND OMER TOGETHER MORE BE MORE CREATIVE THIBS YOU CONSERVATIVE TURD.

    I GOD DAMN SICK OF THE SAME BULLSHIT MISTAKES AND THESE SCRUBS PLAYERS PROFITING BEING IN THE NBA THAT HAVE NO FUCKING GAME OR DON'T HAVE A FUCKING CLUE HOW TO PLAY BASKETBALL.

    I WITNESSED 6 FUCKING NBA TITLES STARING AT MY TV EVERY NIGHT YOU GOTTA HAVE PEOPLE THAT WANNA WIN AND THAT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT LIFE OR THEIR LEGACY.

    STOP SIGNING THESE PHONY ASS PEOPLE LIKE BEN WALLACE AND CARLOS BOOZER JESUS CHRIST SAW THIS COMING TWO YEARS AGO.

    COME ON JR STOP FUCKING OFF AND GET THIS SHIT RIGHT IT'S WAY TOO LONG YOU HAD YOUR TEN YEARS OF BAD AND THERE ARE NO MORE EXUSES STOP FUCKING BEING A CHEAP CRUSTY PANTS OLD MAN ANF FUCKING GET A GM WHO'S A BOSS MAN AND SOME PLAYERS THAT CAN GET THEIR OWN SHIT AND DRIBBLE.

    MY GAWD!

  • SHOOT FUCKING FREE THROWS TOO! SHOOT THEM! THEY ARE FUCKING FREE! THIS IS THE WORST FREE THROW TEAM I'VE EVER FUCKING SEEN. WHAT DO YOU DO ALL DAY AT PRACTICE JERK OFF?

    IT'S A FUCKING MUSCLE MEMORY YOU DO IT ALL DAY IT'S THE SAY NO MATTER IF FUCKING CHRISTEN STEWART WAS BENDING OVER NUDE WITHA BIG CUCUMBER IN HER TANG.

    I MEAN WHAT THE FUCK IT'S LIKE RIDING A FUCKING BIKE YOU JUST FUCK MANQ! THIS TEAM CAN'T MAKE FREE THROWS. HOW YOU GONNA WIN A TITLE? HOW? IT'S FREE./

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    As far as rants go, that was one of the best. Somewhere between Hitler and Mussolini I'd say. BUT I AGREE WITH EVERY F***ING WORD YOU WROTE. Although I am quietly confident that most of the players, while certainly not doing their free throws, are unlikely to be masturbating in practice while daydreaming about cucumbers in inappropriate locations as you theorise.

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